Other Awareness Reduction Mechanisms
Awareness Reduction Mechanisms > Avoidance, Denial, Displacement, Dissociation, Distortion, Distraction, Diversion, Gaslighting, Intellectualization, Internalization, Projection, Rationalization, Reaction Formation, Regression, Repression, Sublimation
Related LP Terms
Non-LP Related Terms
Gaslighting is a sophisticated tertiary ARM. It is a form of distortion whereby an individual, in an effort to suppress challenge and awareness, engages in a direct assault on the thoughts and ideas of a “target” individual or group in order to change that individual’s thinking and undermine their confidence in self and their understanding of reality. Gaslighting is less about one’s own delusions and more about an attempt to directly control the awareness of others.
The goal of gaslighting assault is to undermine awareness of a specific issue, like domestic abuse, by undermining the self-confidence of the individual, specifically their confidence in their own ability to see and judge for themselves the truth. The gaslighter may use any combination of secondary or tertiary defence mechanisms to engage in this frontal assault. For example, an abusive spouse might deny their abuse and reinforce their denial by telling the partner who is complaining that “it is all in your head.” The abusive individual may also project their own abuse onto the victims, and others. When challenged by the victim, they may point out the victim’s own actions as abusive in order to try and convince the victim that they are the problem, or that they “deserve” the abuse. The abuser may also react by converting their abuse to its opposite, by buying flowers or doing highly visible “nice things.” Converting their actions allows them able to rationalize and distract by saying to their partner and their partner’s family and friends, “What are you talking about? I am a loving and thoughtful spouse.” We could spend a lot of time on gaslight because there is really no end to the creative ways a gaslighter can come up with to undermine the self-confidence of the individual. And that is the goal. When an individual victim of abuse can be made to doubt their own two eyes, when they are taught to doubt the reality of their situation, they are less likely to say anything, and more likely to repress their own understanding and adopt of delusional view. When an individual is gaslighted, the perpetrator is trying to make the individual question their memory, perception, and judgment of the situation. This works for the gaslighter because they no longer have to admit to something they may not want to admit to.
Gaslighting is typically understood in the mainstream simply as a tactic in which a person or entity tries to gain more power. This is certainly true, but the question for the woke is, power to do what? In all cases, a gaslighter seeks power to control the thinking and behaviour of a target in order to suppress awareness. The gaslighting spouse is trying to control his partner’s awareness and understanding of abuse so the partner does not go to the police and split the relationship for good. The gaslighting corporate CEO does it for the same reason, to ensure people question themselves and not their corporate malfeasance. Gaslighting in an extremely toxic defence mechanism that indicates serious psychological and emotional damage. Gaslighting is a direct psychic assault that hurts you, hurts the target, and pathologically disconnects you from reality.